Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.
—Romans 5:1 (NKJV)
Being justified by faith—believing Jesus earned our right-standing with God—is the only way we can have peace with God. It is also the only way we can have the confidence to enter into His presence (Hebrews 4:16). If we come to God based on our performance, we will have little confidence to come to Him. When we judge our relationship with God based on how well we follow the rules and serve Him, then we make our performance more important than His grace in our lives.
Some believers think that God is going to move in their lives in proportion to how good they are. When they were saved, they trusted God alone for their salvation. Then later they began trusting in their own personal holiness. If they prayed enough—fasted enough—studied the Word enough—tithed enough, surely God would give them a good grade and answer their prayers.
God doesn’t respond to us because of what we have done. He responds because of what Jesus has done. It is impossible for anyone to live up to God’s perfect standard. Only Jesus was perfect enough. Only the grace of Christ brings peace and joy and God’s blessings. And these are based on Christ’s righteousness and not on how holy we are. The law no longer judges our performance. The grace of Jesus has judged our hearts righteous so we can have peace with God. This is why we are no longer under the law but now under grace (Romans 6:14).
If you strive to please God by what you do and how good you do it, you will never experience the peace with God that Jesus has given you. You will work yourself into failure and despair. To experience His peace and joy and His blessings, believe who Jesus says you are and the freedom He has earned on your behalf.
“Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith” (Philippians 3:8-9, NKJV).
There is no worth in anything we have ever earned. Paul counted it as loss. We can’t earn God’s righteousness. Jesus earned it all. The righteousness which comes from God is received by faith in Christ.
You are made right with God by faith in Christ. Quit working to achieve what you have already received by faith, and allow the Holy Spirit to perfect your understanding of your right-standing in Christ.
“Be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness” (Ephesians 4:23-24, NKJV).
© 2021 Lynn Lacher